Event planning can throw even the most organized person into a tailspin. Creating an event planning timeline can save you time and stress in the long run. The timeline can be as simple or as detailed as you like, but spending time upfront planning each phase of the process allows you to better delegate and keep everything from cracking under the pressure. Use the following tips to create a timeline that will keep you focused and prevent missing any important deadlines.
6 – 12 Months Pre-Event
- For large events, sending a “Save the Date” a year in advance will get your event on everyone’s radar and on their calendar.
- This is also a good time to clearly establish your goals and objectives for the event and set a budget based on cost estimates that you gather.
- Choosing a theme will make the design and planning process easier. Once you have a theme, select other elements of the event that will best showcase your idea.
- Selecting an event venue is one of the most important planning decisions, as the venue will set the whole tone. You will need to know limitations concerning decorations, photography/videography, alcohol, outside food, and bringing in other vendors to plan the rest of your event. On the flip side, you need to find out what is included in the chosen venue, because this can give you a better idea of which other vendors you actually need to hire.
- Assemble the team. Hold a meeting to be sure everyone is on the same page in terms of roles and responsibilities.
- Book your vendors, speakers, and entertainment. To get the best and the brightest, you need to book as early as possible. As part of the vendor selection process, carefully review costs, timelines, and deadlines to make sure you stay on budget and on schedule.
3 – 6 Months Pre-Event
- Make a plan for marketing and branding your event. Consider approaches like social media, websites, online event calendars, and using influencers. You also need to decide how to handle ticketing and registration.
- Finalize the guest list and send invitations.
- Create emergency plans to keep everyone safe by filling in the gaps from your venue’s safety protocols and evacuation plans. Book and confirm a security service if needed. Create contingency or back-up plans for weather related issues or other last minute concerns.
- Make a plan for all the electrical, technical, and audio/visual needs of your event.
1 – 3 Months Pre-Event
- Confirm vendor orders and schedules to make sure everyone is on the same page.
- Finalize and communicate the schedule and responsibilities of all event staff and volunteers.
- Approve final copy for programs and any other printed materials.
1 Week Pre-Event
- Finalize the guest registration, seating chart, and event program details. Provide final numbers to caterers and other vendors that need them.
- Proofread and send out press releases to appropriate newsagents.
- Arrive early to check on set-up and provide last minute instructions to all staff, volunteers, and vendors. With all your careful planning, everyone should know what to expect and how the day will flow. You are there for final adjustments and any last-minute needs.
Happy event planning to all! At TCS Event Rentals, we are committed to supplying your special event with well-maintained, clean, quality equipment and providing dependable delivery. Let us know how we can help you take the guesswork out of your next big event.